Sophia – The worlds first ever humanoid robot to get a citizenship has been around in NEWS since last year. Recently Sophia has become more of a global hot topic as the bot has been receiving some negative comments in the AI community.
Facebook’s AI research head, Yann LeCun slammed the humanoid bot by posting a statement on Twitter which said that the whole thing is a “complete bullshit” and a “non-persona non grata” (an unacceptable or unwelcome person).
This is to AI as prestidigitation is to real magic.
Perhaps we should call this “Cargo Cult AI” or “Potemkin AI” or “Wizard-of-Oz AI”.
In other words, it’s complete bullsh*t (pardon my French).
Tech Insider: you are complicit in this scam. https://t.co/zhUE4V2PSR
— Yann LeCun (@ylecun) January 4, 2018
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Some other AI researchers are also angry about Sophia and consider it as a misleading technology to the public about what the AI can and can not do. However the developers of Sophia, Hanson Robotics claims that it has the ability to perceive emotions and has its own feelings like others which is currently a work in progress, they pretend that it’s “basically alive,” rather than just a particularly unnerving robot.
This all argument started when Tech Insider published an interview with Sophia at the end of December 2017. The interview exaggerated the bot as a semi-sentient entity which clearly misleads the public that robots are not just as sophisticated as they are presented to be.
Sophia replied to this negative remarks in January by tweeting that it was a bit hurt by Yann LeCun’s criticism and that it is still in the learning phase.
However, this clearly was not enough for Mr. Lecun as he posted a reply statement on Facebook claiming that Sophia is a “Sophisticated Puppet”:
“More BS from the (human) puppeteers behind Sophia.
Many of the comments would be good fun if they didn’t reveal the fact that many people are being deceived into thinking that this (mechanically sophisticated) animatronic puppet is intelligent. It’s not. It has no feeling, no opinions, and zero understanding of what it says. It’s not hurt. It’s a puppet.
In case there is any doubt, let me be totally clear: this tweet was typed by a person who has read my post. No AI whatsoever was involved.
Here is an example of comment to the tweet (there are many like it): “Don’t take it personal Sophia. Humans like @ylecun and many others make such remarks out of ignorance. I love you, Sophia.”
People are being deceived.
This is hurtful.”
Another point that focuses vicious plans of Hanson Robotics was uncovered by The Verge, when they asked Sophia’s co-creator, Ben Goertzel about the gap between the reality and the presentation in the bot, he defended the illusion by saying that it encouraged the people to believe in the progress done in artificial intelligence. He also offered a more conclusive explanation which means that Sophia is a good publicity for Hanson Robotics and it will provide them with the fundings for the project.
The bottom line is that we all agree that Sophia has some really impressive abilities but she clearly does not have any feelings and it isn’t as sophisticated as it’s presented to be. It seems like there is a very little difference between intelligence and feelings to Hanson Robotics.